Re: 5,000 at St. Louis Immigrant Rights March

I had mixed feelings about the rally. To begin with the positive, I was very excited to see TONS of people of all kinds of backgrounds come together. It was a great feeling to be a part of a truly multicultural event. It didn't seemed forced to be inclusive and that is a rarity in St. Louis. There were many types of flags there including several Mexican flags, and a few others that I didn't recognize (possibly Venezuala and Colombia). There were a bunch of American flags, that is true. While personally, I choose not to wave the American flag I respect their right to wave it up and down and sideways if that helps them feel better.

What did bother me however was Franc*ass Slay([search]) being there. One of my favorite quotes from him was, "Most of us were all immigrants at one point. When the pilgrams landed in America..." I'm sorry Francis, but that just seems like a very ethnocentric way to put it. He talked about how this is the land of the free, and everyone can be prosperous in America, blah, blah, blah... but I see a land that is free to plunder other nations to benefit our means and I see a land that is prosperous to the few thousand people that are millionaires and billionaires, but leave millions of people to get sick without any resources or healthcare. I don't know - just that many kinda irritated me and I was REALLY surpirsed to see him speaking there. I wonder - how much of that was really done to acquire the Latino vote in future elections/campaigns.

Then another thing that bothered me is that they had Archibishop Raymond Burke there to speak. First of all, I was bored! If I had wanted to go to Catholic mass that day I would have. His dull-drum speach and his feeble attempts to translate what he was saying into Spanish was pitiful and sad. The family behind me really enjoyed mocking him, to my amusement! Besides, isn't this the same church that is trying to take away rights of gays and lesbians... and the same archbishop that is trying to close St. Stanislaus Catholic church (an all Polish Catholic parish on the northside)? So he's saying that he loves immigrants and thinks that they should have equal rights - as long as they pay their dues to the Pope... and your straight.

But - you can't please everyone. So to sum it up, there were about 5,000 people. Most of who were Latino. They had some cool speakers. One was Rev. Susan Talvi who told a story about her Latino - Jewish Grandmother -- to bad the mic kept breaking up on her so she really couldn't get her story in. Another was an African - American from an East St. Louis Church who challenged black folks to reach out to their immigrant brothers and sisters. Then there was a group of African - American women who did an spoken-word/song about the struggle and rights and freedom and equality. That kinda rocked! A cab drive from Sudan who spoke elequently in his native language, telling a story about his family (both him and his wife have masters degrees) and he drives a cab almost 20 hours a day to keep food on the table. He says citizenship is too tricky with the new laws, that they are afraid they'll never become full citizens, despite their efforts to do so.

The rally ended with a march all the way to the Old Courthouse (for those who aren't familiar to the area, that's all the way across the stree from where the rally was!) Despite the short distance, we marched - all 5000 of us - louding with "si se puede" down Market Street until everyone gathered on the east side steps of the Courthosue. They held a moment of silence for those who have been kiled trying to come to America. They said the pledge (yuck) and then trickled home. People were singing and chanting all the way to their cars. Overall - it was a very nice event. Despite Slay and Burke. Next time they can stay at home.


Re: Re: 5,000 at St. Louis Immigrant Rights March

I'm rather unsettled to read about the brash display of patriotism/nationalism at this rally. How often must immigrants feel compelled into onstentatious demonstrations of their "American pride," likely out of fear of being singled out and deported?

Given that the rallies already held have stalled the HR 4437 bill, there is now interest to keep this campaign of protests and rallies going:

April 10th Mobilization
New America Opportunities Campaign
Immigrants' Rights Resources Page on US Indymedia

Does anyone know of new rallies being planned for St. Louis?

Kansas City marches today, 5pm

Looks like Kansas City is having a rally this evening.

City: Kansas City
Date: April 10
Contact: Melinda Lewis
(913) 677-0100 x119
Event Flyer (Español)

Re: Re: Re: 5,000 at St. Louis Immigrant Rights March

Here's another major action. Not sure if St. Louis has it's act together to participate, but the following alert was sent by National Immigrant Solidarity Network:

May 1, 2006: Call to Action!

"El Gran Paro Americano 2006" "The Great American Boycott 2006"
"Un dia sin immigrante" "A day without an immigrant"

Nationwide Immigrant General Strike

Endorse the May 1 General Strike >> Click Here

Join the May 1 Planning List! >> Click Here

Immigrants contribute 7 billion in social security per year. they earn 240 billion, report 90 billion, and only are reimbursed 5 billion, "where are the 85 billion?" They also contribute to the U.S. economy 25 billion more than they receive in healthcare, etc., etc., etc. According to the anti-immigrant politicians and hatemongers, "immigrants are a drain on society." If this is true, then during the day on May 1st the stock market will surge, and the economy will boom. If not, we prove them wrong once and for all. We know what will happen!

Therefore, the "March 25th Coalition against HR4437 in Los Angeles," the organizers of the mega march of almost 2 million on March 25th, has called for an emergency videoconferenced meeting on April 8th between Los Angeles and any city that wishes to join the efforts toward "El Gran Paro Americano 2006." The following meeting will take place in Chicago on April 22nd, we ask that all that wish to participate and be a part of a national effort on May 1st and beyond, to attend by finding facilities in your areas that can hold the meeting, technologically.

The points of unity are: No Work, No School, No Sales, and No Buying, and also to have rallies around symbols of economic trade in your areas (stock exchanges, anti-immigrant corporations, etc.).

Cities across the United States have marched during the week, therefore, in essence observing a regional boycott, which is only felt regionally. The March 25th Coalition against HR4437, calls for these regions to develop a national network that will "connect the dots." We believe with numbers we have power, the power currently necessary to keep the pressure on the White House to propose provisions that are
just and fair for all immigrants.

We will settle for nothing less than full amnesty and dignity for the millions of undocumented workers presently in the U.S. We believe that increased enforcement is a step in the wrong direction and will only serve to facilitate more tragedies along the Mexican-U.S. border in terms of deaths and family separation.

More details to come… Keep your eye on

May 1st - general strike indeed!

That general strike date also happens to fall on May Day and it should coincide with the May Day event that's gonna happen in St.Louis.

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Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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